Sergio Perez calls rivals ‘bad losers’ for Max Verstappen excuse

Red Bull were found guilty of breaching the 2021 budget cap last month.

Red Bull Racing have received a lot of bad press surrounding their breach of the 2021 budget cap, with Toto Wolff even suggesting that the reputational damage that the team have suffered is worse for them than their actual punishment from the FIA.

The team were found guilty of spending $2.1m more than the $145m budget cap last year, even though the initial rumours had suggested that the figure would be a lot higher.

Max Verstappen won his maiden title that year, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi, with some believing that the cost cap may have made the difference in such a tight battle.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown labelled any team who overspends the cost cap as ‘cheats’ and has argued that Red Bull should receive the harshest of punishments, with many in the paddock believing that the $7m fine and ten per cent reduction in wind tunnel testing time does not suffice. 

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Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has come to his teammates aid, defending Verstappen’s title and claiming that those who put the Dutchman’s 2021 title down to an overspend by the team, rather than his talent, are simply sore losers.

“We did not get ant performance benefit, Max didn’t win the championship [due to the overspend],” said the Mexican driver.

“So for other teams to take advantage of that, and try to make Red Bull look bad, it’s really unfair. And it shows they can be bad losers.”

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The FIA refused to accuse Red Bull of any intentional wrongdoing in their final reports surround the budget cap breach, announcing that they found the team guilty of multiple small overspends as a possible result of misinterpretations of tax rules.

Team principal Christian Horner has told reporters that while he accepts the punishment given to his team by the FIA, he still does not believe the team did anything wrong, other than simply interpret the rules different to others.

Red Bull will be hoping that the ten per cent reduction does not damage their title hopes in 2023, with Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton eager to avenge Abu Dhabi after a year of struggling under the new regulations.